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CUPE members approve contract in Sunshine School Division

WINNIPEG – CUPE members in the Sunshine School Division voted today to accept a collective agreement.

“There as a good turnout and members were clear – they accepted the tentative agreement we reached,” said Jackie Hampshire, president of CUPE 1618.

“The members are just happy to be able to go back to work. We’ll be back at our jobs on Monday,” says Charmaine Hysrio, CUPE 4456 president.

“We have a three per cent increase in wages and standardization of wages will be phased in over three years,” she added. The wage standardization was a major issue for the members and the Division. School division amalgamation put together workers who are doing similar work but receive very different salaries.

The contract the members approved will be in effect to the end of 2003. The one-year contract (one and a half for some members) will harmonize contracts that were merged through amalgamation of this Division. Negotiations on a longer contract will start later this year or early in 2004.

The members of CUPE 1618 who provide custodial, maintenance, bus driving and teaching assistance for the Division were on strike for a week. The secretarial, library and computer technology personnel in CUPE 4456 went on strike last Friday.

Union representatives, School Division negotiators and a government appointed mediator, Michael Werier, started negotiations last Friday and reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday of this week.